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Dr Alison Campbell

Senior Lecturer, Department of Biological Sciences
Science education and communication
University of Waikato

Dr Alison Campbell is the inaugural recipient of the Science Educator/Communicator Kudo Award, sponsored by Wintec.

Dr Campbell is a gifted educator and science communicator, most recently receiving the New Zealand Association of Scientists’ Communicators Award for 2005.

She is well-known in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty through her involvement in promoting science to school students and community groups. Many secondary schools students know her as the ‘skull lady’ as a result of her presentations on human evolution using hominid skulls as teaching aids.

Dr Campbell’s passion for science communication saw her and a colleague set up Café Scientifique in Hamilton, which is part of an international movement to involve the community in talking about science issues. It is one of the most successful and well-attended Café Scientifique in New Zealand.

Dr Campbell has also set up several internet sites as teaching aids for secondary school science teachers and students. She recently launched BioBlog (www.sci.waikato.ac.nz/bioblog), which is a site intended to support year 13 biology students and teachers preparing for the New Zealand Scholarship examinations. She was also the team leader of the group that developed the Evolution for Teaching website (www.sci.waikato.ac.nz/evolution).

Her work demonstrates her leadership in a wide range of science education areas, including under-graduate teaching and curriculum development, mentoring and staff support in teaching methods, supporting Waikato secondary school teachers, speaking to schools and community groups, and contributing to national science curriculum development.

This article is based on information current in 2008.